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England pull off first upset of World Cup

Source: PTI
Last updated on: February 28, 2010 22:06 IST
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European champion England registered the first upset of the Hero Honda FIH World Cup, stunning Olympic silver medallist Australia 3-2 in second Pool B match of the quadrennial event at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Sunday.

Ashley Jackson (25th minute) and James Tindall (34th, 45th) were sounded the board for England, while captain Jamie Dwyer (24th, 66th) scored both the goals for the World number two Australia.

The Australians might consider themselves unlucky as they earned as many as 12 penalty corners but wasted all of them, whereas English side scored from two of their three short corners.

Contrary to the result, Australia was the dominant side in the first half earning as many as five penalty corners but failed to convert a single one, which definitely did not go down well with their coach Ric Charlesworth.

The Aussies applied pressure on the English from the start and earned their two short corners within first five minutes of the match but on both occasions Like Doerner was off target.

But as expectedly, it was the Aussies who opened the scoring in the 24th minute through their inspirational skipper Dwyer from a penalty stroke after England goalie James Fair made a stick check foul inside the Dee. However, the lead lasted just a minute as Jackson made it 1-1, converting England's second penalty corner with aplomb.

To the much disappointment of the Aussies, nine minutes later, James Tindall scored from England's third penalty corner to go into the breather with a 2-1 lead.

Down by a goal, Australia came out firing in the second half and made repeated inroads into their opponent citadel but each time the English defence stood firm to deny the equalizer to the Aussies.

Ten minutes into the second half England doubled their lead when Tindall scored his second goal of the day and seventh of the World Cup from eight outings.

The English centre-forward gently tapped the ball inside the Australian goal from an Iain Mackay pass to hand his team a 3-1 lead.

From thereon, Australia exerted immense pressure on the English defence and earned penalty corners at will but their efforts went in vain till the 66th minute of the match.

Dwyer again came to his side's rescue and reduced the margin in the 66th minute after a combination with Matthew Butturini from a penalty corner.

Four minutes from the hooter, Australia got a chance to draw parity when they were awarded their 13th penalty corner.

But the on-field umpires' decision was overruled by video umpire after England appealed for a referral, which virtually summed up the day for the reigning Champions Trophy winners.

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